Clinical characteristics and histopathologic changes of morphea: A single-center, retrospective study of 137 patients

Jemin Kim, Kyung Bae Chung, Young In Lee, Jihee Kim, Ju Hee Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The clinicopathologic correlations and prognostic risk factors for refractory disease in morphea (localized scleroderma) are poorly described. Objective: To investigate the association between clinical characteristics and histopathologic features of morphea and identify risk factors for refractory disease. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical and histopathologic features, treatment regimens, and clinical responses for 137 patients with biopsy-proven morphea from January 2008 to May 2019. Multivariate analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with poor treatment response. Results: We detected associations between the pattern and degree of sclerosis and the anatomic site of the lesion, as well as between severe inflammation and concomitant autoimmune disease. Additionally, both bottom-heavy sclerosis and increased inflammation were associated with functional limitations/clinical symptoms. Based on our multivariate analysis, we found that increased risk of poor treatment response was correlated with tissue eosinophils and basal pigmentation. Limitations: This was a single-center retrospective study. Conclusion: Skin biopsy samples could show specific features of morphea, including eosinophil infiltration and basal pigmentation, which may indicate the need for aggressive treatment and frequent monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding sources: Supported by a faculty research grant from the Yonsei University College of Medicine ( 6-2020-0081 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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